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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Getaways are packing a new set of guidelines

A weekend getaway is likely to come with a little more paperwork thanks to COVID-19.

With travel restrictions easing from Monday 1 June, holiday rental agreements are set to include a new set of guidelines aimed at reducing the risk of infection and associated anxiety.

Gathered from several disease prevention and control groups, as well as the World Health Organisation, the guidelines include clear instructions on cleanliness for homeowners and property managers.

The information also includes flexibility for last-minute cancellation should renters feel unsure about infection controls.

Australian holiday rental website Stayz introduced the guidelines this week, with the group’s regional director Ross McDonald saying the changes were positive.

“Stayz has been connecting families with private, whole homes for nearly 20 years in Australia, and the advent of COVID-19 has led to new traveller needs,” he said.

“When planning their next trip, our family travellers want the flexibility to change or cancel plans and information about a property’s cleaning practices in order to feel comfortable enough to travel again.

“We’re adding the tools quickly to meet the new needs families have when they are choosing a place to stay, as well as the features and systems our homeowners and property managers now need to clearly communicate their policies and standards with future guests.

“Transparency between travellers and homeowners about expectations, policies and protocols is more important than ever.”

The additional recommended cleaning measures include the disinfecting of high-touch surfaces, allocating time between bookings to avoid back-to-back stays, and stocking antibacterial hand washes, cleaners and hand sanitisers for guests.

“Stayz is also adding a feature which allows enhanced safety practices to be communicated by partners on their property description pages so travellers can choose and book homes that meet their expectations,” Mr McDonald said.

“Homeowners and property managers will be able to report if the property is being cleaned with disinfectant, if guests can check in and out without any person-to-person contact, and whether the property is unavailable for at least 24 hours between guests.

“Families looking for properties with flexible cancellation policies will be able to use Stayz search filters to find holiday homes that provide a full refund when cancelling by a specific date.”

Mr McDonald said the changes were part of welcoming the return to travel.

“We want our travellers to feel confident about travelling again,” he said.

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